Is Defeat in the Air?

Alright, so I had to cut off Part Three a little abruptly last time. But, we are back and ready to roll. So, let me shut up and continue.

We left off with learning more about Bromden’s backstory, and why he has decided to be “deaf and dumb” from now on. It was pretty sad, and I don’t want to go back through all that. If you wanna refresh, just go to the last blog post that should be at the bottom of the page.

So, after that, Bromden and McMurphy are awakened by an aide named Geever, who is collecting gum from under Bromden’s bed. I thought this was really gross of Bromden. He would chew gum and then stick it to the metal part under the bed to save for later. I understand why, though. According to Geever, it’s apparently odd that an “indigent patient” was obtaining gum. So, he hid it in order to keep it from getting taken. I’m not sure why that’s so odd, but it’s whatever. It’s still really nasty, dude…

After Geever leaves, McMurphy gives Bromden a couple of sticks of Juicy Fruit gum to make up for it. Then, one of the most shocking parts of the novel comes in.

Bromden tells him thank you! That’s right, you read it! He said thank you!

I would be more worried if he had done that with any one else. But, if you remember, McMurphy hinted to Bromden a while ago that he knew he wasn’t actually deaf. He hasn’t told anyone about that secret. He may not have known about him being dumb, but he wasn’t going to expose his roommate’s cover like that. He was a genuinely good person with morals. I’d almost consider them friends at this point.

This little slip up causes a good amount of conversation to happen between the two. I’m gonna try and navigate through it all as best as I can.

After Bromden’s slip up, McMurphy relates to him by telling a story about a time he had a job picking beans when he was younger. He explains how all the adults ignored him while he was there, so he decided to not say anything for an entire month. The adults were gossiping without worry, thinking young McMurphy wasn’t listening. At the end of the month, he spoke up and repeated all of the things they had said. This caused trouble everywhere, proving that just listening can be the biggest weapon.

Bromden tells him that he’s too little to do something like that, which is insane because he’s described as an extremely big guy. I’m sure he means something a little deeper though. He’s small in confidence. After staying in a demeaning environment for so long, it makes sense that he’s not confident in who he is. I wouldn’t be either.

McMurphy offers to help him by putting him through a body building process. He even offered to pay the fishing fee for him if he did the body building enough to lift the control panel in the tub room.

A plan is hatching!! What an exciting adventure!!

There’s also a reveal about the girls that McMurphy said are his aunts. They’re actually prostitutes. Go figure. McMurphy also manages to get a patient that used to be a sea captain named George on the trip. That’s always fun.

Now, on the day of the trip, there was a little trouble because one of the girls couldn’t make it. There was only one car, and Miss Ratched was trying to keep them from going because of that. McMurphy ended up talking Doctor Spivey into going with them, which provided an extra car. And off they went.

Bromden talks about the Combine a lot. I’m never really given an explanation on what that is. I personally think about the industrial revolution when I hear about it. Bromden talks about all of the changes that have been made in the world outside of the hospital while on their way to the boating dock. He mentions mechanized commuters mainly, which is what made me think of that. There’s a lot of change happening at that time, so it makes sense.

Anyway, the crew has to stop for gas, and an important event happens. The attendant tries to take advantage of Doctor Spivey, but McMurphy stops him by claiming that the mental patients are all psychotic murderers. This causes a realization within the patients. They realize that their illness can be a powerful tool for them. They get confident, and they start to ask for more and more things.

This surge of confidence is something they needed. Like I said, after living in such a demeaning environment for so long, it can really take a toll on someone’s confidence. They’ve been messed with and abused mentally for a while. Confidence could be a helpful cure.

The crew makes it to the boating dock, but there’s an issue. The captain won’t let them on the boat due to the absence of a waiver that protects the captain of liability in the event of an accident. While McMurphy is trying to talk to the captain, other boaters around the area begin to tease the prostitute, Candy. It’s clear she’s pretty uncomfortable, so she looks to the patients for help. But, their newfound confidence has been left back at the station because they can’t seem to say a word.

McMurphy gives the captain a phone number to call to help them get on the boat. As soon as the captain goes back to call, McMurphy herds everyone on to the boat. He asks George to start the boat and navigate them. George readily agrees, and he quickly gets the boat up and going. The captain comes back out a little too late, and he ends up seeing his boat going out to sea.

Yeah, so they stole a boat. That’s very bad. I do not condone this type of behavior, but it was very funny to read and imagine. Seriously, imagine a group of mental patients stealing a boat. Hilarious.

To make this quick, I’m just going to tell you that they had an awesome time. It was nice to see them be pretty much normal. They were just a group of people fishing on the water. It was finally a little piece of normalcy in their lives.

They get back to the dock to find an angry captain and two policemen. They’re about to be in a lot of trouble until Doctor Spivey comes to the rescue by threatening to tell the authorities about not having enough life jackets on the boat.

S A V A G E AHHHH! I love Doctor Spivey!!

We’re gonna get a little sad now. While everyone seemed extremely happy, McMurphy seems off. He’s even described as “pale and exhausted,” which is very unlike McMurphy. The crew takes a detour to pass by an old house that McMurphy used to live in, and it’s also the place where he had sex for the first time. I know, really odd. It gets weirder.

He had sex for the first time at ten years old. That’s pretty freaking gross if you ask me. And he did it with a girl younger than him. I was shocked and a little terrified. I really didn’t know what to think.

Anyway, the girl gave him the dress she was wearing as reminder. McMurphy ended up tossing it out of his window, but it caught on a tree branch, and was still whipping away in the wind when they passed. Bromden goes so far as to describe him as “dreadfully tired and strained and frantic, like there was not enough time left for something he had to do.”

This is not good. This proves that McMurphy is getting tired of this battle he’s fighting. He came in so happy and boisterous and bold, but now he’s become frail and exhausted. I don’t want McMurphy’s spirit breaking, but it seems like we might getting to that point. Which is scary.

And that’s the end of Part Three! The next post should be the last one! So so so sad! I’ve enjoyed this journey!

Until then, stay sane out there…

Our Fearless Narrator (Section 1 of Part Three)

Welcome back, loves. We are so close to the end, which is insane to me because it feels like these weeks have just flown by. We’re gonna be done with this book either this week or next week!

Small little recap: we finished Part Two with a bang after McMurphy punched right through the glass of the Nurses Station. A whole “stick it to the man” gesture.

Now, we’re gonna divulge into Part Three. There was a lot happening here, and I’ve got a lot to talk about. It’s a mix of both good and bad, which makes sense because we’re nearing the end of the book.

Without further ado, let’s hop right in!

McMurphy had taken the lead after his stunt with the glass. Miss Ratched decided that her best move would be to wait and formulate a plan that’ll take McMurphy down for good.

He was acting pretty cocky and reckless after the incident. He seemed to be no longer scared of the idea that he could be in the hospital for the rest of his life. That’s a dangerous move to play with, especially since we know that Miss Ratched is not happy with the way the tables have turned.

I bet this is how McMurphy felt about getting ahead. Also, Jack Nicholson is a king in the acting industry!

McMurphy has been in the ward for a month now, which means that he can request for something called an “Accompanied Pass.” This pass allows a visitor to come take a patient out of the ward for the day. He requests for one, but is denied by Miss Ratched. At this point, the pane of glass in the station had been replaced. McMurphy notices this and proceeds to break the glass again. He feigns innocence once more by claiming that he hadn’t realized it had been replaced.

This second incident has run Miss Ratched’s patience down to a thin wire, and Bromden tells us some details that let us know that. He explained that “her face was calm and blank…but the strain was beginning to show in other ways.” He describes how hard she jerked the adhesive tape on McMurphy’s hand, which is the main sign that proved she was ready to explode.

This feels like foreshadowing to Miss Ratched’s eventual blow up. She’s going to come up with something that will rattle everyone in that ward, but especially McMurphy. Her attack is going to be directed right at him. It’s really scary to think about, honestly. Miss Ratched is a horrific woman, capable of doing whatever she wants. If she can perform a lobotomy on someone because they accidentally made her mad, imagine what she can do to someone that purposely makes her mad…

McMurphy wanted to add some type of activity to the hospital, so he asked to form a basketball team. Doctor Spivey, the guy who’s supposed to be in charge, says that the team could be a good therapy option for patients. Miss Ratched hated the idea, but we all know that’s nothing new.

Let me say this real quick: the character development that I’ve seen in Doctor Spivey is INSANE!!! He went from letting Miss Ratched speak for him to having his own voice. He has started to make known his opinions and ideas. He’s becoming less scared and breaking out of his shell. I absolutely love character development in stories, and his has been one of my favorites to read.

Anywho, back to the point.

So, McMurphy organized a team. Yes, they all sucked. It was the thought that counted, though. While the team was playing, a patient named Scanlon accidentally bounced the ball into the glass window, breaking it for a third time. Miss Ratched was extremely angry, and her patience continued to run thin. She ended up throwing the basketball away (rude..).

Alright, I know that was kinda boring, but I had to summarize the beginning of the part. I had to talk about what happened before so no one would be confused. Now, let me continue.

Since Miss Ratched threw the basketball away, McMurphy suggested a fishing trip. I thought that was a pretty crazy idea, taking mentally ill patients out in the middle of the ocean with fishing poles. It really didn’t seem like the smartest idea he’s had. He was confident in it, so he requested a pass from Doctor Spivey for a couple friends that would take about 8 or 9 patients deep sea fishing.

He claimed that they would be accompanied by two of his aunts.

Of course, every request has to be run by Miss Ratched. She immediately begins to try to dissuade the patients by talking about how the salmon were running late and how the sea was dangerous and rough. She didn’t say directly that they couldn’t go, though. She kept it subtle by telling them to “give it some thought.”

This is so petty. Honestly, her existence lives around pettiness.

Look at Miss Ratched, being all petty like. Ridiculous.

Excited as he could possibly be, McMurphy begins to rally up patients to go fishing. They were a little timid at first because of the articles Miss Ratched continued to paste on the bulletin board by the sign up sheet. Despite that, eight out of ten people signed up. McMurphy had to have ten people sign up in order for the trip to happen.

Bromden expressed an interest to the reader (aka me or you or whoever) that he wanted to go, but signing up would be a huge risk to his cover. That night in bed, Bromden tells us why he decided to no longer speak and pretend to be deaf.

I was super excited to get here! I have been ANTICIPATING this moment for such a long time!! I’m sure you all have been too, so let me shut up and keep going.

Bromden has a flashback to when he was ten years old. He remembered the time when three people came to his home to talk to his father about buying the Indian tribe’s land. Bromden tried to speak to them, but he was ignored. They acted like he wasn’t even there. From that point on, he decided to not say a word.

Two things before I continue. One, this is a significant moment because this is the first time we get a very specific memory pertaining to Bromden’s childhood. The only thing we knew was that he was pretending to be deaf and dumb for some reason. So, getting to learn about part of his backstory is nuts.

Second, this is super sad to me. Bromden is pretending to be deaf and dumb because he was blatantly ignored by three people who knew he was there. Even though this ends up working in his favor, it’s sad that he felt as though he wasn’t worth a word anymore in the world.

Bromden is such a pure and sweet character that I have fallen in love with. I hate that people treated him differently because he was an Indian child at the time. Sadly, that’s the world we live in. When someone isn’t with the majority, they’re automatically treated differently. It’s extremely heartbreaking to me.

Okay, so I’ve realized that this is super long, so I’m gonna end this post here and chop up part three. Whoops.

So with that being said, stay sane out there!

Truly “Holier Than Thou?”

Welcome back! I hope you’re all ready to keep navigating through Part Two!

I’m not even gonna give a long intro! I’m just gonna jump right in.

To give a small recap, I ended my last post with a cliffhanger about what McMurphy decides to do with the new information he has learned. This info being that the staff is the one who decides when patients get to leave.

Now, let me stop right here for a minute. That is trash. I literally said that.

First of all, release of a patient is partially based on staff recommendations, so that doesn’t sound too far off. It’s different in this case, though. Miss Ratched is one of those people that doesn’t ever forget what people do to her. Plus, she has to be in control. The hospital is her domain, and no one else is allowed to rule it. When patients threaten her control and order, she doesn’t just brush it off. She remembers it, and her way of getting back is by keeping them there longer. It wouldn’t matter if that patient had shown extreme signs of improvement. She would find some excuse to convince others that he was still sick and ultimately keep him.

Secondly, the abuse of power that’s being shown here is ridiculous. She’s using her position to say that she will forever be “holier than thou” in a sense. It’s extremely unfair, and it makes everything extremely one sided. The patients were too scared to ever step out and use their voice until McMurphy came along.

Lastly, this makes change difficult. With this information, McMurphy realizes that everything he is doing is lengthening the time he has to stay there. So, the internal battle is raging. Does he stay meddling with Miss Ratched and possibly never see the light of day again? Or does he back off for his own sake?

That can be a pretty hard decision for someone with good morals and intentions. I’m sure it was tough for McMurphy in every way imaginable. So, what does he do?

Well, he does a little bit of both.

Also, I’d like to side note that one of my favorite patients drowned. Cheswick was sent to the Disturbed Ward during a meeting after bringing up cigarette rations again. This time, McMurphy did not support him due to his newfound info. From what I saw, he was there for a while. When he comes back, he specifically tells McMurphy that he knows why he doesn’t go against Miss Ratched anymore.

This is sad to me. It’s like Cheswick has been broken. Going to Disturbed damaged him even more. After he tells McMurphy that, he jumps in the pool, and he gets his fingers stuck in the pool drain, which kills him. At first, I thought it was an accident. Now, it’s seeming like a suicide. I’m not ok with that. Cheswick was a great guy. Yes, he was nuts. But, he wasn’t afraid to stand up when no one else could(figuratively and literally) do it. This proves my point that these guys still have feelings!! This really broke my heart. Rest In Peace, Cheswick. Gone but never forgotten.

This is how I kind of imagined the pool in the story. RIP Cheswick

I’m hoping this death doesn’t lead to a bigger, more devastating death. I don’t need them buttering me up for the final wave of depression. That would really suck. Sadly, my gut and my heart are saying that someone more important to the storyline isn’t gonna make it. I don’t know who yet, but I have some predictions. None of them leave me feeling happy.

Anywho, McMurphy decides to lay off for a bit. He does what is told of him, and he doesn’t speak unless spoken to. That broke my heart a little. I know what he was trying to do, but I didn’t want that to lead to his spirit being broken.

This whole scenario reminds me of horses. That sounds weird, but hear me out. Have you ever heard of the phrase “breaking a horse?” I’m not sure if that’s the complete phrase, but it’s close enough. When horses are being trained to be ridden, it is known as breaking the horse. That seems kind of bad, but it’s actually a good thing. Now, let’s compare that to the phrase “breaking a horse’s spirit.” That’s the bad one. When a horse’s spirit is broken, they seem dull and lifeless. It’s like they have no purpose.

I feel that the main goal Miss Ratched has is breaking McMurphy’s spirit. Once she’s done that, she’s truly won.

Realizing this, McMurphy lays off and lays low. Ultimately, this was a smart decision. His gambling lifestyle has become a survival skill for him in the hospital. He knows when to play versus backing down and watching the other players. That is the difference between winning or losing.

As the Part Two continues, I’m continuously seeing instances of Miss Ratched abusing her power. For example, all of the patients were receiving chest X-rays to check for tuberculosis. While waiting, McMurphy learns that Miss Ratched can send whoever she wants to receive electroshock therapy, or as the patients describe it, send them to the “Shock Shop.”

So, update: electroshock therapy was proven useless by the time this story takes place. Therefore, all I’m getting from this is that Miss Ratched is choosing to use her power to keep her grip on control. This woman is a control freak, jeez.

They also said that she would perform lobotomy operations on whoever she wanted. I had to look this one up because I had no idea what that word meant.

It’s a surgical operation that involves making an incision in the prefrontal lobe of the brain. This practice was also proven useless, and quite frankly, stupid. How does cutting into someone’s brain cure them from mental illness?!

Yet, Miss Ratched could and would perform these practices because she could. She’d do anything to keep the control she has.

This is where things get juicy. During a meeting, Miss Ratched and Doctor Spivey made note of the fact that the patients were not taking care of their chores. Because of that, they decided to take away the second game room that had been given. Miss Ratched makes a note to look directly at McMurphy, but he just tilts his cap and smiles. This action leads her to believe that she is in full control. She has nothing to worry about.

Sike! Let me tell you why!

After the meeting, McMurphy walks up to the Nurses Station, which is glassed in. He says to Miss Ratched that he wants his cigarettes. Then, he proceeds to punch the glass out!!

I didn’t even realize he did that until it talked about the glass that had splintered everywhere. I was shook.

McMurphy then claims that he didn’t know the glass was there because it was so clean and spotless.

Man, if I could have seen Miss Ratched’s face, I would have laughed. This is such a bold move after laying low. Maybe it wasn’t the smartest decision, but I thought it was great.

That was McMurphy’s way of saying “screw you and your power.” Guess she’s really not “holier than thou” after all. I love it so much.

This makes me think of McMurphy destroying the glass!!

And that’s the end of Part Two! This book is getting better and better! I cannot wait to keep going.

We’re actually a little over halfway done! That’s nuts to me!

Alright guys, until next time, stay sane out there…

Part Two: Discovery

I’m so glad to finally be done with Part One of this book. It was a little draining after a while, so getting to progress the story more was exciting!

Now let me apologize. I know this is super late, but I had an extreme amount of things to do. Mainly, singing for hours at a time for three straight days. But, now that the conference I was in is complete, I can put my full focus on this.

So, let’s get started!

I’m actually going to flashback to the end of Part One for y’all. I know, it seems like I can never escape the beginning of this book. I’m sick of it, too.

Part One ended with all of the patients, not including the Chronics and Vegetables that can’t think for themselves, sitting around a turned off T.V. set. They were just staring at it like there was something on it. This was an act of rebellion, and Miss Ratched was displeased. More than that, she was pissed.

Strong word choice, I know. But, that’s how angry she was. Guess who all of that anger was aimed at?

If you guessed McMurphy, then you’re absolutely right. He was making friends and followers, leading the others in ways Miss Ratched never would have imagined. You know antagonists though, they always catch up.

I was nervous at first because there came a point where Bromden possibly blew his cover of pretending to be deaf. I love Bromden as a character, and I know that him voting in the meeting while in the midst of his hallucination was an extremely dangerous move. I’m hoping this doesn’t come back to bite him in the butt. As of right now, it hasn’t. So, fingers crossed it ends ok!

Alright, I’ve housekept the end of that.

So now, we can divulge into Part Two.

The first thing I noticed was the fact that Bromden pointed out that the fog he sees has disappeared. This strikes me as odd for some reason. I have no idea what this could mean.

I’m not sure if it means he’s getting better physically. It very well could, but at the same time, I know that that’s not what it means. It could be the calm before the storm, which seems to make more sense in my mind. When Bromden mentions this, the sentence is placed by itself. It’s not in any particular paragraph.

I do that in my writing when I want to separate something important away from the rest of the information I’m giving. It’s kind of a way to drive the main point in, and it makes it stand out. It’s a good writing technique.

I’m thinking Kesey wants this noticed. It’s foreshadowing for something. Now, I can’t see the future, so that’ll have to be answered at a later time.

Alright, so Part Two really opens up right where we left off. Miss Ratched has called a staff meeting, so Bromden cleans the staff room during this, giving us an insight on what’s happening.

This made me nervous because there had been talk on sending McMurphy up to the Disturbed Ward. I haven’t been given much information on it, but from what I have gathered, that’s a place that no one wants to go to. So, I got anxious about his fate.

As the meeting wears on, everyone expects Miss Ratched to go nuts. But, she’s eerily calm, and that left me feeling suspicious. As I said, antagonists always catch up. She doesn’t agree with sending him to disturbed, but instead decides to take her time with him.

So, she assigns him a chore like every patient has. Granted, she gives a big “screw you” by giving him the job of cleaning the toilets. Other than that, she’s relatively calm and never loses her cool. McMurphy continues to antagonize her, yet she does not act upon it.

Later, the patients get to go swimming at the pool. McMurphy begins to talk to the lifeguard, and he finds out that patients leave when the staff wants them to.

Yikes. Sucks if you’re a patient that likes to mess with the staff.

Oh wait. That sounds familiar.

Yeah, looks like our buddy McMurphy is not gonna get an early release with the way he’s acting. In his defense, he only thought he was there until he finished serving his time from the work farm sentence. I’m sure he feels pretty blindsided. He said himself that he wasn’t going to stay there longer than he had to.

What does McMurphy decide to do then?

You’ll find out next time! I know, I’m horrible for this. Sorry not sorry.

I noticed that a lot of discovery was happening in this part. I’m not sure why, but I was learning new things left and right along with the characters. It’s so crazy how invested I get in books sometimes.

I won’t leave you hanging for too long. I promise.

Until then, stay sane out there!

Didn’t have much opportunity to post pics, but please enjoy this little cartoon I happened to find!

The Third Section of Part One: With a Little Bit of Doom, There’s Hope

Welcome back after my ever so rude cliffhanger. I apologize for leaving you like that, but I had to in order to not significantly bore you.

Well then, let’s jump right back in.

If you don’t remember what we talked about last time, just keep scrolling down until you get to the last post that’s similarly titled like this one. You’ll know which one it is, I promise.

So, I had a list of four words that I felt summarized the last part of part one. Here they are once more:

Hallucinations. Battle. Doom. Hope.

Alright, so let’s get started with number three!

Number Three: Doom-

I tried my hardest to find something that related to the word “doom”, but nothing was popping up. This is all I got.

Doom is a pretty harsh word to use to describe something. But, I felt it was appropriate to use because I could sense a feeling of impending doom while I read.

As I said before, McMurphy and Miss Ratched were really going at it in the end of this part. There was one battle after the next. Despite the fact that McMurphy started this battle as a bet, we all know that he cares for the other patients in the ward. They’ve become his friends. So, it’s become more than a bet.

These patients are really counting on McMurphy. They want to break out of the cycle that they’ve been trapped in by Miss Ratched. Yeah, they are a little nuts (or a lot, depending on which dude we’re referring to here), but they do not deserve a controlled lifestyle. Deep down, they know that.

As these battles rage on, there becomes a plateau in McMurphy’s victories. Miss Ratched begins to gain the upper hand, and McMurphy himself starts to sense that the whole situation isn’t going to end in his favor.

I know that if I felt this darkness as a reader, there’s no way he didn’t feel it. I mean, dang, he’s in the book experiencing it.

I felt very sad honestly. I had a dark feeling in me. I wasn’t getting any good vibes from what Bromden was saying, and that left my heart beating with anticipation.

In my mind, I was wondering if McMurphy got himself into something that he will never be able to retract from. I get a strong sense that this doom is major foreshadowing to something not so good.

If someone dies, I’m going to be very upset… I like all of these guys..

Anyway, I know the other patients could sense that this wasn’t ending well. Yeah, they also wanted to win the bet. Remember, they’re in the loony bin! They don’t have it all together upstairs. They really can only think about so much, and money was what they were thinking about.

There was just this dark cloud of doom. It was hard to escape. It was dominating.

I was afraid that it was beginning to take over.

That is, until good ole’ number four came in!

Number Four: Hope-

I like this pic. It gives me reassurance.

Things can grow even in rock hard places.

I know I just talked about how there was a huge heckin’ cloud of doom in this part.

Like the title says though, with a little bit of doom, there’s hope. And that’s very true.

There was one part in the book that stood out with the theme of hope. McMurphy was talking about ways to escape the ward. Leaving through the window was his favorite option. There was a set back, though. The windows at the ward are covered in a mesh that is extremely tough. So tough that it can apparently break anything that is thrown at it. From chairs to tables to humans, you name it! It’s a big game of slice and dice with those screen windows!

In the new day room, there’s this big control box. According to Bromden, it’s extremely heavy and impossible to lift. But, it’s one of the only things can break through the screen on the window. McMurphy, being the gambler that he is, bets that he can lift it with no problem. Of course, every patient in that room is skeptical of that. People have tried to lift it before but to no avail. So, what makes McMurphy think he’s Superman?

Still, McMurphy tries. And he really does try. There comes a point where everyone in that room can feel his dedication and drive to lifting that control box. Bromden even explained that for a minute, everyone believed that he could do it. Even he did.

I felt it too. There was a glimmer of hope shining in everyone as McMurphy put his all into lifting the control box. This hope, though, went deeper than that. If McMurphy lifted the box, who’s to say he can’t dominate Miss Ratched?

Even though he didn’t lift it, he gave his all. Just like how he’s given his all to torturing Miss Ratched. The least he can do is try.

I feel that this hope is also a foreshadow. Maybe there is hope for all of those guys in that ward.

I want to get to the end and see those patients walk right out of those hospital doors as different people. New and full of light and hope.

This hope is starting to be found more. Another example would be when everyone was in the group therapy meeting, and McMurphy insisted on voting for watching TV in the afternoon one more time. The first time they voted, only four or five people were brave enough to vote. But, after the control box incident, the other guys felt that hope. The second vote came around, and many more people stepped up to the plate. That in itself is a victory.

Yet, Miss Ratched comes and snakes that away by tricking McMurphy with the vote. I actually hate this woman.

But, shoutout to Bromden for finally having independence and voting. Hopefully, he’s not in too much trouble.

I really want a happy ending. I’m not so sure I’m gonna get it, though. With all of these mixed feelings of doom and hope, I really don’t know what to think. I just want my man, Ken Kesey, to come through and give a good, solid, happy ending!

Hey, a girl can dream. I am speaking a happy ending into existence.

Wow, I finally finished writing about Part One. That took way longer than expected, and I truthfully wasn’t prepared to have to write three separate blog posts on one part.

Time for a change!!

I can’t wait to dive in to Part Two and see what’s in hidden in its pages!

Until then, stay sane out there…

The Second Half of Part 1: One Big Ole’ Cloud of Confusion

I can’t even count how many times I got lost in the second half of part one in the book. It felt like everything escalated so high, and it turned into a whole other book. I even had to check to make sure I was still reading THE SAME BOOK!!

I’m going insane with the patients. Meet me at the local psychiatric ward, guys! I’ll be there when I finish!

Until then, let’s talk about why I feel like I’m about to become a mental patient myself.

I can actually explain the rest of this part with just a few words in order to summarize.

Hallucinations. Battle. Doom. Hope.

Let me explain each one.

Number One-Hallucinations

I knew something along these lines was going to pop up more frequently than it already had, but I truly didn’t realize how fast, and how heavy it would come.

Now, to quickly recap, we are reading this story through the eyes of Bromden, who is a patient in the hospital. I mentioned in my last post that I wasn’t sure as to why he is in there since he is pretending to be deaf and dumb, so it left me super curious.

I found out that it’s because he has extreme hallucinations.

Well, extreme to me. Think what you will, but they left me feeling a little cold. I’m glad I wasn’t the one actually experiencing it. Though, I must say, Mr. Kesey is amazing at bringing Bromden’s damaged mind to life. I could imagine myself standing in his brain, witnessing these hallucinations with him. What an author.

Off topic, let me continue.

These hallucinations always came in sneakily. Honestly, I couldn’t even tell it wasn’t real until something made Bromden snap out of each one, which forced me to come back to reality also. That’s why I was in a cloud of confusion for the rest of the first part. They would come in so nonchalantly, putting on a fake smile to make it seem like what they were portraying was real.

That makes them extremely dangerous. They came in like a thief in the night, snaking away what little hold of the world Bromden had at the time.

Bromden has continuous hallucinations about a fog machine. He believes that Miss Ratched turns on a fog machine in the ward to envelope the patients in her grasp. Of course, this isn’t real because he is the only one seeing the fog surrounding everybody.

But, there is some truth behind the lie.

As I read through his hallucinations, I couldn’t help but think. Bromden does not like this fog by any means. He thinks it affects the other patients’ memories, plus he associates it to Miss Ratched, who is one of the worst characters in the book. Yet, maybe it really does though.

I know, that sounds nuts since it’s a hallucination. But, I kept thinking about how he thinks Miss Ratched is working the machine. To me, it seems like the fog represents the control that she demands. It curls around the other patients, even though it can’t be seen by anyone except Bromden. Remember that he also believes that it affects the other patients memories. This reminds me of how Miss Ratched has brain washed them into believing that the life they’re being forced to live is good.

Fake reality turned into the truth. I love that parallel. It really made you think.

Number Two-Battle

Yes, I know that’s a picture of Harry Potter and Voldemort. Humor me, ok?

Instead of seeing Harry and Voldemort in this picture, imagine good ole’ McMurphy and Miss Ratched facing off. That’s an accurate description of what was happening in the book.

If you remember, McMurphy has made a bet with the patients. He believes that he can shake Miss Ratched up, and aggravate her to no end. The patients know that this is almost impossible because she has been in control for so long. She’s had practice and won’t lose without a fight. McMurphy takes this as a challenge, and doesn’t let that stop Him.

Now, McMurphy made me laugh a lot in this part. Some of the things he did to mess with her were hilarious. My favorite encounter is when he walked out into the hallway with nothing but a towel on while she was on her way to tear into him for singing.

Yeah, I know. Weirdest statement I’ve ever written. But, Miss Ratched isn’t a fan of singing apparently.

Anyway, when he walks out, this man has the courage to call her “Miss Rat-shed” instead of her actual name! I could see this encounter happening in my mind, and it only made me giggle even more.

McMurphy is such a bouncy and happy character. I love how he’s placed in the story at certain times, almost as if to diffuse the negativity going on. For example, Bromden had a horrific nightmare about the hospital being a slaughterhouse. He saw a Chronic get hooked like a pig and sliced open in the dream. There are other details, but I’m just gonna keep it simple and say that it was pretty scary. When he wakes up later, we hear the carefree singing of McMurphy. His personality and attitude acts like a positive presence to the reader after seeing something so dark. I definitely felt better when I read about McMurphy wearing his white whale boxer shorts.

Sadly, with the good battles come the bad ones. Miss Ratched had her fair share of winning as well. Bromden explains that she won after a small confrontation between her and McMurphy occurred. In the day room at the ward, Miss Ratched has the radio turned up extremely loud. McMurphy gets annoyed by the loudness, so he tries to convince her to turn it down. Miss Ratched ends up explaining to him that some of the patients are hard of hearing, so the radio has to be loud for them to hear. While it seems like a small battle to win, it was still won by her. It gives her confidence that will most likely continue to fuel her fire.

These battles are the main plot in this story. We are reading this in hopes for a better life for Bromden and the rest of the patients. We’re gonna go through a roller coaster full of ups and downs. Wins and losses in this case.

It’s gonna be hard to determine who will win the war. It’s left me pretty excited.

Now, I’ve realized that I made this a little long. So, I’m gonna talk about the last two things in my next blog post.

If you hate cliffhangers, I am so sorry. You’ll make it out.

Until then, stay sane out there. I’ll see you when you come to visit me in the ward once again.

Part I: Welcome to the Psychiatric Ward

The mental ward in a hospital can be a pretty scary place to some people. I’m not gonna lie, it does tend to give me chills when I hear about one. Beginning to read One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest left me feeling no different. I’m only halfway through part one of the book, and I feel as if I’ve entered a whole other world.

So, let’s dive in, shall we?

I’m gonna start out with a short summary of what I’ve read so far. By short, I mean short, sweet, and right to the point.

Part One launches us into the story by letting us look through the eyes of Chief Bromden, a half-Indian patient who is pretending to be deaf and mute. He ends up learning all of the secrets at the hospital because of this. Through Bromden’s eyes, we also get introduced to three black boys that are aids at the hospital. Their names are unknown, but we learn that these nameless boys love to abuse and torture the patients in the ward. We then meet Miss Ratched, otherwise known as “the Big Nurse” by Bromden. Miss Ratched is the head nurse over the psychiatric ward, and she is known for her controlling demeanor. With the help of the black boys, she makes the patients’ lives anything but better. In the hospital, the patients are divided into two groups: the Acutes and the Chronics. The Acutes are considered curable while the Chronics are less than likely to be discharged. Some of the patients end up becoming Chronics due to the “treatments” that they go through at the ward, such as electroshock therapy. As the story goes on, we get introduced to Randle McMurphy, a man who previously worked on a farm, and was deemed psychotic after fighting (he also wanted to escape working, so he requested to be moved to the hospital). McMurphy is an outgoing gambler who’s not afraid to speak his mind, which threatens order to Miss Ratched’s ward. As McMurphy starts to interact with the patients and understand the way of life in the ward, he realizes that not everything is what it seems. One day after a meeting, McMurphy makes a bet with the patients. He believes that he can “get the best of that woman.” He wants to cause disruptions to Miss Ratched’s order, and get justice for the patients that can’t fight for themselves.

I just want to commend Ken Kesey for outdoing himself with this novel. I’m not even halfway through it, yet I feel as if I’ve entered the ward myself. He has a way with words that makes you feel for these people, despite the fact that they’re just characters in a fiction novel. It truly astounds me.

Here’s a picture of the man himself. Round of applause because he is truly a fantastic writer!!

Alright, enough of that. Let’s get to the point.

First, I’d like to talk about writing style. It’s so unique, and I have to touch on it for sure.

Not gonna lie, I tended to get annoyed at times because of the fact that there were missing punctuation marks in sentences. I also noticed that the story seemed to jump from reality to flashbacks, often confusing me.

See, that was no accident. Mr. Kesey had a purpose for that. I should just be patient, and use my brain a little bit more. I’d probably be less confused for sure.

We are reading this through the eyes of Chief Bromden. Meaning we are him. We get to see what he’s thinking along with what he’s doing. He’s also a mental hospital patient. He may be pretending to be deaf and mute, but we can’t deny that there’s still some reason for why he’s in there. I’m not sure what that is yet, but I’m really hoping I get to find out.

Anyway, a mentally ill person is not going to be thinking completely straight. Especially a person that is admitted in the psychiatric ward. Not to mention that Bromden has been in the hospital the longest. That’s going to take a toll on any person’s mind.

Kesey managed to capture the thought process of a mentally ill person extremely well. I honestly had to go back and read a couple of times just to make sure I read it correctly. I felt like I was the one losing my mind. That’s amazing to me.

I ended up doing a little bit of research about Kesey. So fun fact time!!

Did you guys know that Kesey volunteered to be a part of MKULTRA, which was a top secret military project with the CIA?

Did you know that he had to test psychoactive drugs, such as cocaine and mescaline, for this project?

Here’s a news headline from the Washington Post about MKULTRA and the CIA..

Did you know about this stuff?

No? Cool, I didn’t either.

This experience lead him to write One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. He was basically a guinea pig because of having to test all of these psychoactive drugs.

I’m sure he felt crazy. Just like his characters.

Kesey is starting to become one of my favorite writers!

Alright, let’s move on. I’m sure you’re tired of hearing me gush over Mr. Kesey.

Next, I wanna talk about the treatment of the mentally ill in this book. I got extremely riled on this topic.

Let me say this again: I am not even HALFWAY through this book!! I have already gotten extremely angry in just 64 pages. Now, I will continue.

The patients in the hospital are treated like trash. They aren’t looked at as equals, but more like dirt beneath other people’s feet. Especially by the three black boys.

These boys weren’t not only submissive to Miss Ratched; they were horrible individuals. They knew what they were doing when they beat and cussed the patients. They didn’t care, though.

That made me angry. The fact that these three boys were taking advantage of people who can’t think or defend themselves is disgusting to me. How low do you have to be, you know?

Guess what? Stuff like this actually happened back in the day. Maybe it still does somewhere. We definitely don’t have to worry about it as much, but there are still cruel people in this world. I’m glad this book dives into the subject of the treatment of the mentally ill. There is so much stigma surrounding mental health to this day. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest helps break that stigma. Once again, we are seeing this through the eyes of someone with mental illness. Bromden may have a little trouble with keeping thoughts together, but he is no different than you or me. He is still human. Yet, people act like the black boys. Maybe not as cruelly, but more in the sense of treating them as if they aren’t equal to us.

They have feelings too. That should be known.

One more thing before I sign off. I’d like to speak about my man, McMurphy.

Randle McMurphy scared me a little bit at first. I was concerned about this very boisterous guy jumping into a mental hospital head on with no concerns. He definitely seemed off.

As I kept reading, he grew on me. Especially when he started feeling for these patients. You can tell he doesn’t stand for the way they’re being treated by Miss Ratched and the black boys. He sees that they are being played. His gambling lifestyle played a part in him recognizing Miss Ratched’s game.

This bet that he has made is making me excited. I can’t wait to see how he’s going to ruffle her feathers! I’m sure y’all can’t wait either.

With that, this is where I leave you. Fear not, for I will be back with more excitement and opinions for y’all!

Until then, I’m signing off! Stay sane out there.

Or insane. It doesn’t matter to me.

Also, a cuckoo is a real bird????? I did not know that until now… whoops.